content warning: discussion of disordered eating
love poetry / and sweet tea / honey sticks to my throat / in the summer heat but / i think that if heaven is out there, then this is what it would be / it would be pretty dresses and the colour pink it would be / sugar and cream / because maybe we weren’t put here to suffer / to push the boulder up the hill / over and over again / to punish soft baby skin / and go hungry because of a post you saw online / about how gorgeous it is to feel sick / and weak / and sad all the time / how healthy definitely looks like crying at mealtimes / and your body doesn’t care about your feelings / trust me, it’s not true / trust me, you deserve rainbows in the mist of a garden hose / like it’s the first time / dewdrops on the morning leaves, catching the light / to hold yourself like the child you didn’t get to be at night / to sing lullabies to someone you really love / and spin around in the mirror, cause you look so fucking pretty / so i’ll tuck flowers behind your ear and hold your hand / and let petal-soft words crawl out of my throat / they’ve been hiding there for a while / so they’re probably gonna be a little awkward, and clumsy at first / but in time, i think i’ll learn
I spent a really long time punishing myself for wanting nice things–I’m honestly still kind of in the habit. But, although this year has been pretty horrible–I think I did finally learn how important it is, to listen to yourself, and be soft, and kind. How much of a difference the smallest nice things can make–like a vase of flowers on your desk, or a snack you really like, when you’re deprived yourself of those things your entire life, out of some strange mix of self loathing and pride.
It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money, or any at all. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or dramatic. But sometimes, just taking a bath after a long day to relax, or making yourself a mug cake feels really, really good. Like a quiet, peaceful surrender.
I’m still figuring it out. I’m still clumsy, and confused, but… I think I am, very slowly, getting somewhere.
it’s the hill of ants, making a home across your skin. it’s the grease in your stomach, concrete finally setting in. and just when you think that you’re fine, you’re okay, you’re better this time… it finds you. and god, it digs in.
eats you up, a little bit. my fingers shake, my jaw hurts. i think i’m gonna vomit. so i drink some water, and i turn my headphones all the way up. this can’t be it…
so i push it away, until i can’t do that anymore. until i’m some kind of ghost, drifting through the walls until my ribcage turns hollow, and it’s all my fault somehow, don’t you see?
i am small, and alone, turning to dust already, as the sky turns red, and the river slips down my throat.
fifteen years old.
the number is clunky, and cold. it doesn’t feel like my own.
you say that it’s gonna be all right. cup my cheeks in your hands; promise sunshine and riches beyond my wildest dreams, your wish is my command.
so i’ll be pixie dust and moonrise, slipping off your fingertips. you build me a kingdom, and it’s nice. to live on a monopoly board, where money comes easy, and so does hope. to dance around my room, singing into a hairbrush so loud i forget that i’m alone.
and i know it’s so silly, and i’ll laugh at myself later. but i don’t really care. because right now, i’m dust in the wind, i’m the city at night, i’m the fire in your bones. i stumble through the chords with my eyes closed.
piece together a soft, slow melody like a puzzle. and it’s messy, and confusing, it’s nails into my heart, and it keeps going. even when i don’t want it to. even when i’m tired, and furious at the world. calls me small, and insignificant. and maybe it’s right. maybe we’re all fucking screwed, sandcastle civilizations and morning dew.
a cry for help, and a bleeding wound. maybe it hurts sometimes. maybe there will always be days, when i feel like i’m going to die. but i’ve done this, a million times over. learned every creaky floorboard of the haunted house inside my mind. talked it down, and unwound its knotted threads.
so i’ll take my worst nightmares out to tea. let them hold my hand, and cry. and it’s scary, and confusing, and i don’t know what i’m doing. but i think i have to try.
i’m disappointed, but i’m not surprised. because i’ve ridden this bus route a thousand times, memorized each twist and turn. i know this hurt with my eyes closed.
so i keep band-aids in my back pocket. and that’s not a pretty metaphor, i mean it. i hide in my bedroom, until there’s nothing left but ash and bones. one final mess to clean up, i suppose.
i’m sorry. because i’m always sorry, and the word slides off my lips like water, when i don’t even mean it, just another fucking force of habit, you know?
and in my head, it’s a grand battle; violin bravado. but in reality, it’s just… a stuffy classroom, burning eyes, and a day that never ends. and the path of least resistance might be bloodstained and dirty, but right now it’s hard to give a shit.
so i burn my tongue on scalding tea, until i can’t think, can’t breathe, and i saw it coming a mile away, didn’t i? watch myself wither in third person, and bite back a scream. because what if it doesn’t get better? what if i live out my days like this, for the rest of eternity?
what if the fairy tale outgrows me? what if someday, even my favourite t-shirt is tired and old, what if the glass breaks, and i’m left to reckon a the sinkhole. and what if can’t do it?
what if i let go?
i remember: this day one year ago. the way the dizzying night sky rolled out around me, like a legend aching to be told. how we named the constellations, just like in my stories. and it felt like a dream, or something. maybe it was. i don’t know.
i remember chocolate birthday cake, and long walks through the city, and now you’re crying in my arms and i don’t know what to do; can’t tell the difference between holding a bird in my palms and crushing its wings. but we’re gonna work something out, i promise you.
i remember it all cast in gold, because it’s easy, and it’s so beautiful. until i look out my window, and the grass isn’t greener—it’s ashy and yellow, starved out by the cold.
but i remember the hungry forest as a lark in the park, and the smoke in my lungs as a warm embrace. which is something i’m working on, okay?
i remember orange juice and board games; counting down the seconds, ’til the january fog crept in, and swallowed me whole.
i can’t promise you the world. but i can say… that i’ll try my best. that i will never give up, or break a promise. and i’m still learning, how to cry and breathe and rest. but it’ll come to me, eventually. just… gonna need some practise.